By Darren Willmott

The perennial wine question in December is “what shall I drink with my traditional Christmas meal”?

For reds, so as not to overpower the dry white turkey meat, and to compliment other meal components such as nut stuffing and cranberry sauce, you need a light fruity wine such as Pinot Noir. Try a Burgundy or Beaujolais from France or a New Zealand example.  Working equally well are the Tempranillo or Grenache based reds from northern Spain. If cooking the dark meat of beef or the traditional birds of goose and duck you’ll need something with more fruit and tannic structure.  Cabernet Sauvignon from either Bordeaux or Chile should fit the bill nicely.

In terms of a white wine, Chardonnay is a very good match for all, with its oily buttery lemon qualities matching up to the meat, fluffy potatoes, rich gravy and stuffing.

Sparkling wine can be fitting at any part of the day, from a breakfast treat to toasting Her Majesty’s speech.  This year, why not give home-grown English sparkling a chance?

Whatever you choose, I’m sure you will have a wonderful Christmas and, hopefully, a headache free start to 2018.

Another big part of Christmas for me is the excuse to play games of all sorts so, grab the tipple of your choice, and have fun finding the names of seven white and seven red grape varieties in this wine based word-search.

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